French Noun Genders

In French, nouns are either masculine or feminine. Unlike English, where the gender of nouns isn’t reflected in their form, French nouns have specific endings that often indicate their gender. Here’s a breakdown of common endings for feminine and masculine nouns, with exceptions noted.

🍀 QUIZ : masculin or féminin 🍀

This guide provides an overview of French noun genders, highlighting the common endings for masculine and feminine nouns and noting exceptions. Feminine endings include -ance, -ence, and others, with examples like tolerance and indulgence. Masculine endings feature -ment, -isme, and more, with examples such as government and socialism. The guide also addresses exceptions, such as “le silence” for feminine and “la jument” for masculine, underscoring the complexity and nuances of French grammar. Perfect for English speakers learning French, this concise summary offers insights into the gendered nature of French nouns, aiding in vocabulary expansion and accurate sentence construction. It emphasizes the importance of learning and practicing these rules within linguistic context for effective language acquisition.

Feminine Noun Endings

  • -ance (Examples: la tolĂ©rance, l’assurance, la connaissance, la souffrance, l’enfance, …)
  • -ence (Examples: l’indulgence, l’effervescence, l’urgence, la rĂ©surgence,  l’indiffĂ©rence, …
    • Exception : le silence)
  • -ade, -ode, -ude (Examples: la balade, la salade, la façade, la bousculade, l’embrassade, l’ambassade, la pagode, la gĂ©ode, la mode⚠️ , l’étude, l’amplitude, la certitude, la solitude, l’habitude, l’altitude, la lassitude, la latitude, … )
    • Exceptions : le prĂ©lude, l’interlude, le code, l’exode, le stade, le mode⚠️, …
  • -ette (Examples: :la cigarette, la voiturette, la maisonette, la girouette, la bicyclette, la dette, …)
    • Exceptions : le squelette, le quartette, le quintette, le radiocassette, le magnĂ©tocassette, …
  • -sion (Examples: l’invasion, la tĂ©lĂ©vision, la rĂ©vision)
  • -tion (Examples: la crĂ©ation, la solution, la libĂ©ration, la nation, la ration, la gĂ©nĂ©ration. Exception : le bastion, le cation) 
  • -tĂ© (Examples: la libertĂ©, la bontĂ©, la solidaritĂ©, la facultĂ©, la gĂ©nĂ©rosité )
    • Exceptions : le cĂ´tĂ©, le comitĂ©, l’étĂ©, le pâtĂ©, le comtĂ©, …
  • -rie (Examples: la boucherie, la gendarmerie, la librairie, la pâtisserie, la buanderie, la chocolaterie, la rĂŞverie, …) Exceptions : le brie, le bain-marie
  • -ure (Often feminine. Examples:la couverture, la voiture, la sculpture, la nature, la ceinture, la couture, la lecture, la bordure, …)

Masculine Noun Endings

  • -ment (Examples:  le gouvernement, le management, le tourment, le piment, le compliment, le compartiment, le bâtiment, le châtiment.
    •  Exception: la jument, which is an animal and shouldn’t be on this list)
  • -isme (Examples: le socialisme, le capitalisme, le libĂ©ralisme, le fĂ©minisme, le racisme, le rĂ©alisme, le naturalisme, le communisme, le fascisme, …)
  • -phone and -scope (Examples:  le tĂ©lĂ©phone, le tĂ©lescope, …)
  • -eau (Examples:le chapeau, le rideau, le radeau, le manteau, le drapeau, le couteau, …)
    • Exceptions : l’eau, la peau
  • -age (Often masculine. Examples: le mage, le nuage, le dĂ©rapage, le gage, l’assemblage, le dommage, le ravage, le paysage, le garage, le suffrage, le forage, le dĂ©pistage, …)
    • Exceptions : la nage, la cage, la plage, l’image, la rage, la page,
  • -us (Examples: le lapsus, le processus, le virus, le blocus,  l’humus, …)
  • -oir (Examples:  le trottoir, le hachoir, l’avoir, le dortoir,  le faire-valoir, le perchoir, le parloir, le dĂ©sespoir, …)

This guide gives you a general sense of how to determine the gender of a French noun based on its ending. However, exceptions abound, making it essential to learn and practice these rules in context.